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Early Neolithic Habitation Structures in Britain and Ireland: a Matter of Circumstance and Context

  • Alison Sheridan
Chapter
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)

Abstract

While our understanding of the nature of Early Neolithic settlement in Britain and Ireland is advancing through recent discoveries and improvements in dating, many questions remain, not least that of why there seems to have been a fairly brief period, during the opening centuries of the fourth millennium bc, when large houses, often referred to as ‘halls’, were used in parts of Britain. An explanation is offered in terms of the dynamics of colonisation: pioneering farming groups lived together in them until they felt sufficiently well established to ‘bud off’ into independent, smaller household groups. Subsequent developments are viewed in terms of the development of this novel lifestyle in Britain and Ireland, and issues surrounding the temporality of different kinds of Early Neolithic settlement structure are explored.

Keywords

Neolithic Large houses Habitation structures Britain Ireland 

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Museums ScotlandEdinburghUK

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